* Let’s once again go back to the Illinois statute book…
A monetary contribution to a political committee is deemed to have been received on the date the contribution was deposited in a bank, financial institution or other repository of funds for the committee.
* With that in mind…
In her final days as state senator, Toi Hutchinson collected $9,000 from special interests, though it’s unclear why.
Last weekend, Hutchinson, D-Olympia Fields, resigned after serving a decade as state senator for the 40th District, which includes Kankakee County. She now is working in the Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration coordinating the state’s efforts for the legalization of recreational marijuana.
Hutchinson announced her resignation about three weeks before she collected the campaign money, which is listed on the state Board of Elections website.
On Oct. 19, she received $5,000 from the Illinois Laborers Legislative Committee, $2,000 from the Illinois Bank Political Action Committee and $1,000 each from MillerCoors and Comcast, according to her report.
Under state law, candidates must report their donations of $1,000 or more within five business days.
* I checked in with former Sen. Hutchinson’s campaign treasurer…
The amount was about $9,800, and it was posted before Senator Hutchinson resigned. Most of the donations were from August and then remainders from her golf outing, which was on September 9. Because we aren’t in campaign mode we weren’t regularly checking the P.O. Box.
The plan is to settle accounts and close down shop. She is not taking any more donations and will spend down according to what’s allowable by state law.
The reporter apparently didn’t understand the law, so he didn’t call around to see when the contributions were actually made or received. He looked at the deposit dates (plus up to five business days) and wrongly assumed those were receipt dates, although he told me he checked in with the State Board of Elections and blamed them for giving him bad info. The Laborers told me they sent their check around the time of her September 9th golf outing in Olympia Fields.
* I reached out to the reporter over the weekend to give him a heads up and he deleted the “Under state law, candidates must report their donations of $1,000 or more within five business days” line from his story. But the rest of the piece is still wrong.
We can debate the merits of the law as it stands. Some committees are so small that requiring immediate disclosure would be way too onerous. Larger committees could and perhaps should have more stringent reporting requirements. But a simpler and still effective fix would be to require all campaigns to note the date on the checks in their online filings. Nobody can credibly complain that such a rule would be too much to deal with.
We all make mistakes, but, for now, the law is what it is and it’s up to people who do this for a living to know what it says.
The politically connected son of a onetime powerful lawmaker was tapped to fill out the remaining term of Toi Hutchison, the Olympia Fields state senator who was named “cannabis czar” to oversee the Jan. 1 rollout of legalized recreational marijuana in the state. Democratic party bosses tapped Patrick Joyce, 57, of Essex — the son of the late former state Sen. Jerome Joyce — who beat out three women competing for the job
From the K3 paper…
The other candidates were Chicago Heights City Clerk Lori Wilcox, Momence’s Marta Perales and Monica Gordon, executive director of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation.
At a public meeting at Kankakee Community College, all four candidates spoke before the committee and took questions. Then the committee members, including Kankakee County Democratic Chairman John Willard, deliberated in private for 40 minutes before announcing their choice.
During questioning, Perales and Gordon pledged to run in the Democratic primary in March regardless of who the committee picked. Wilcox said afterward she had not decided yet.
Joyce promised to build relationships with residents in the northern part of the 40th Senate District. His father, Jerry, a 17-year state senator, died in June.